Vegan Caesar Salad with Garlic Parmesan Croutons
All salads are not created equal, and I have to say, this salad falls into a new category of totally amazingly delicious salads. Young Lauren also thought all salads were healthy. I had decided that if you put anything on top of lettuce it automatically made it a health food. I would put cheese and croutons and ranch on top of lettuce and feel super proud of myself for eating a meal that was really good for me. Ha ha. I could fill a room with stuff I did not know about being healthy, and now I think I could fill a stadium with things I do know. One of my favorite, not-so-healthy-salads, was a Caesar salad. I loved the creamy dressing and the crispy croutons and the crisp romaine. When I became a vegetarian was the first time I actually realized the dressing was not only not vegan, but also not vegetarian.
Sadness, I really felt like I was missing out on that Caesar dressing taste I loved. I soon forgot about it though, as I did with many meaty food items I use to partake of. Then, a few years ago, my husband and I were in Gainesville, Florida, and there is an amazing restaurant there called The Top. I love it, they have so many vegetarian and vegan dishes, but also plenty of meat for those who are interested in that (like my husband). They have pecan crusted tofu to die for. I also discovered that their Caesar salad is vegetarian, and this was when I was still vegetarian and not fully vegan. So, I was super pumped and devoured it. Since becoming vegan, I have had the wheels turning, thinking of all the ways I could make a delicious vegan version of my beloved Caesar dressing and how to make some amazing croutons that taste cheesy. Thus this salad was born, and I would wager a guess that it is actually healthy. I added some more veggies, and made the dressing full of protein with a few calories as possible. It it also pretty fool proof, and you can change the seasonings pretty easily for your preferences.
These are literally the most delicious croutons I have ever had, by the way. They smelled so amazing, I ate a “few” right when they came out of the oven. I really hope you enjoy this versatile salad. You can really create whatever you want using the dressing and croutons, add your favorite veggies or protein. The next day I added vegan chicken strips to it and had a vegan chicken caesar salad! Have fun!
- Prep Time: 2h
- Cook Time: 10m
- Total Time: 2h 15m
- 1 1/4 c Cashews, raw(soaked for at least 2 hours)
- 1/4 c Almond milk
- 2 tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 tbsp. Capers
- 2 tbsp. Nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. Mustard
- 3 Cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp. Rice wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp. Agave nectar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Garlic Parmesan Croutons
- 1 Loaf of Ciabatta
- 2 tbsp. Nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp. Garlic powder
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 1/4 c Olive oil
- Soak cashews for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut ciabatta into cubes. Place in a mixing bowl and add the other crouton ingredients. Toss until all of the bread is covered with oil and seasoning.
- Bake at 450 for 5-10 minutes being careful not to burn them, but that they get firm and crispy!
- Add all of the ceasar dressing to a high speed blend. Blend on high until nice and smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning to desired flavor.
- When croutons are finished, let them cool, and chop your romaine lettuce and any other veggies you want. Top with croutons, dressing and more nutritional yeast(if you want)